West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long made a poignant speech at the multi-faith civic service to mark today’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
Members of the Jewish community were joined on Sunday by local dignitaries and representatives of a variety of faiths and organisations for the service, which took place in Lynn’s Town Hall.
In his address, Mr Long said: “Holocaust Memorial Day it is a hugely important day which brings together all types of people and religions and gives us a time to reflect on the inhumane atrocities which have been committed in both the past and the present.
“The sheer magnitude of the holocaust causes a distinct unease by all who research its effects.
“This year’s theme “How can Life go on” is designed to test our deepest lines of thought and to which there are no real answers.
“I cannot imagine in my lifetime how survivors of such terrible atrocities manage to live on but live on they do.
“Human resilience has been tried and tested across the millennium and somehow with support and belief some light always shines through.
“It is with this thought we as a community can help one another, albeit by lending a listening ear or by providing valuable support.
“A troubled person who is alone is troubled indeed but with help and kindness there is hope and where there is hope “Life can Go On”.
The memorial service has been held each year since the first national event in 2001.
West Norfolk Mayor, councillor David Whitby, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is not only about commemorating past genocides and honouring those who died, but about standing with those who survive.
“Each of us has a responsibility to consider what we can do to help those who have survived genocide, as well as all those from persecuted groups, ensure that life goes on.
“I am privileged to be laying a wreath at our Holocaust Memorial Day service and would urge people from all faiths to join in marking this day together.”
Readings were given by members of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities, the Soroptimists and KLARS (King’s Lynn Area Resettlement Support).
There was also music from pupils at St Martha’s Catholic Primary School, in Gaywood and, after the service, the Mayor presented a wreath which was laid at the memorial tree planted in Tower Gardens.
This year, the focus of the national day of remembrance, which takes place nationally today, will be on the aftermath of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
Questioning how life can go on, it urges us all to think about our own responsibilities in the wake of such crimes.
Visit: hmd.org.uk for more information.